Boho Gardens: In the Conservatory

I have been working behind the scenes for quite a while on a project near and dear to my heart. I first began sharing my fabric collage/embroidery projects way, way back in the day (well, if 2012 counts as back in the day!), and each project was a combination of several fussy cut and layered fabrics that I then embroidered directly onto, creating a pattern as I went along.

Fast-forward to today and I still love embroidering layered fabrics that I have fussy cut and I especially enjoy teaching others how they can do this as well.

Boho Gardens: In the Conservatory combines my love of floral anything with trips to both large and small gardens (did you know Philadelphia, PA is the Garden Capital of America?!) and my photography. Mix this up, put it on fabric and you have the first wildboho embroidery project.

Designed to be placed in a 9″ or 10″ hoop, this project captures the spirit of how I first began to embroider fabric collages, except for all of the collage work has been done for you (by yours truly!) and you can focus just on the embroidery!

In addition, I am adding YouTube tutorials to the Boho Gardens section of my channel as inspiration to get you started. This project is designed for all levels of embroiderers and is meant to be embroidered however you would like. Free-spirited, no directions (my favorite kind of directions!) and the perfect slow-stitching project to just begin and take your time embroidering.

For now, I am only taking pre-orders through my instagram page (or a direct email to bohostitchery@gmail.com). These will eventually make their way into my Etsy shop. Orders are shipping soon (next week!) and I can’t wait to see how each person stitches their In the Conservatory hoop project!

Now is the time to Boho your Embroidery!

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If you’ve been wanting to try my Bluprint class Boho Style: Mixed-Media Embroidery but haven’t yet, now is the time! Through Sunday, July 21, you can watch not only my class, but all of the other classes that Bluprint has to offer, for FREE!

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That’s right! Try your hand at Mixed-Media Embroidery and see how much fun it can be to add texture and embellishments to your embroidery!

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I highly recommend my own class (!) but here are a few more of my favorites:

Natalie Chanin’s “The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches”

Jessica Long’s “3D Embroidery: The Modern Cameo”

Brooke Lark’s “Flay Lay Your Life: Pro Photo Tips”

Have fun watching and learning and don’t forget to tag me in any photos you share on Instagram!

 

All Things Embroidery

So many of you have reached out to me with questions on various embroidery and beading tools and so, to help you out, I’ve been tweaking my Amazon storefront and have broken all of my suggestions into lists: Books for Inspiration, Boho Embroidery Essentials and Boho Beading Essentials.

Everything that I have included in my lists, are things that I personally have used (or read!) over and over and over again and I can without a doubt recommend these items to you! If you ever have suggestions for me to try out, or questions, don’t hesitate to ask! For now hopefully these lists will help you as you build up your Boho Embroidery toolkit!

 

 

QuiltCon Nashville Wrap-Up

Well, I successfully made it through the week of post-QuiltCon fog (guys, it is a real thing!!!) and I think I can finally write a wrap-up post with a clear head!

I escaped the winter storms in my area to head south to rainy, rainy Nashville for QuiltCon! While I was there, I taught five workshops to awesome bunches of stitchers! Here are some of my highlights and lots of links so that you can feel like you were there, even if you weren’t!


Thursday began with two classes. First up are my students with their Geometric Feathers.

(Geometric Feathers pattern available here.)

Thursday night was my late night group of Crazy Quilters! I was super excited to be teaching this class for the first time. I think we all agreed that we could have used several more hours to stitch!!

Friday was an all-day class of Collage Embroidery. This is one of my favorite classes to teach because at the end of the day, each student has created something completely one-of-a-kind! I love to see each individual’s creativity come through in their appliquéd design!

I get asked all the time which hoop is my favorite and I think i’ve finally settled on this one! Made from The Ghastlies fabric by Alexander Henry, I think this snarky little lady puts into facial appearances the side of us that we all try to hide!!! Especially if someone uses our fabric scissors to cut paper!

This hoop seems to be the favorite of my new designs. You can find the pattern for this Steampunk Bee in my latest book here.

At lunchtime on Friday, I made my way to the Lucky Spool booth for a book signing. Here I am with my fabulous editor, Susanne Woods!

(If you missed out on my books, you can find them here.)

Before teaching on Saturday, I made my way to Craft South! It was super crowded but such a creative and inspiring spot! I mean, just look at all of that thread!

One of my favorite QuiltCon purchases was this Daylight Company clip-on lamp. Oh, and lots and lots of Eleganza thread!

We stitched some more Feathers on Saturday night!

Then bright and early Sunday morning for my final class, we filled the room with our Color Wheels!

(This is one of my best selling patterns and you can find it here.)

I wish I could say that I had lots of time to walk the quilts, but I didn’t. However, these three caught my eye every time I walked past:

QuiltCon was over in a flash but it was just so much fun! Thank you to each and every one of my students! I loved meeting all of you and having you in my classes!

If you missed taking any of my classes in person, don’t forget that you can still learn Boho Embroidery! Check out my embroidery class on Bluprint: Boho Style: Mixed-Media Embroidery!

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And P.S…I quietly unveiled my new youtube channel to my students in my classes. I’ll be sharing it with all of you SOON! This is something i’ve been wanting to do for awhile and after be asked (very politely!) by so many of you for stitching videos, I’m finally putting them together! I’ll share here when it’s ready for the unveiling!!

Until then, happy stitching!

Boho Embroidery Stitch Along Tour

Today I am (excitedly!) kicking off 10 weeks of the Boho Embroidery Stitch Along tour with some of my favorite makers!

Each week of the Stitch Along Tour, I will feature a maker who has stitched up a project from my newest book: Boho Embroidery: The Pattern Collection. I’m most excited to share with you the variety of ways that the patterns from my book can be used. Each pattern in the book can be used in one of two ways: either as a fabric collage design or as a straightforward embroidery pattern. My goal in writing this book, was to create a patterns that could be as unique as each person who picked up a copy of the book and felt the urge to create!


To kick off…or rather, stitch off, the Stitch Along (!), I wanted to share with you one of my favorite patterns from the book: the Steampunk Bee.

Here is the Steampunk Bee hoop in all of its steampunk fabulousness! This pattern allows you to have fun with things like gears and watch parts and whatever else you might feel the urge to add.

BUT, what if you wanted to use this pattern as an embroidery sampler?

Well, now you can!

Here is the pattern worked up with just seven embroidery stitches: six of the embroidery stitches that you can find in this book (and one bonus stitch from the first book!)

  • Scalloped Buttonhole Chain Stitch
  • Spanish Knotted Feather Stitch
  • Lattice Stitch
  • Woven Filling Stitch
  • Wheatear Stitch
  • Bunched Couching
  • Feather Stitch (from Boho Embroidery

I used a combination of Koigu KPPM yarn and Eleganza Perle Cotton in sizes 5 and 3 to stitch this up. The beads in the Lattice Stitch are size 8 seed beads and I buy them from Fusion Beads…they come in so many colors!!

The beauty of a project like this, is that you could choose to stitch it with the stitches that I used here or you can pick completely different stitches and colors and you will create a hoop that is all you!

Each of the patterns in this book can become a pattern for you to use as a stitch sampler, just like this!

I can’t wait to see what you all will create!


So, be to check out what each of the makers has stitched up for their week on the Stitch Along and follow along for lots of Boho inspiration!

Also, check out these hashtags to see lots of behind the scenes pictures from the Stitch Along:

#bohoembroiderypatterncollection

#bohoembroiderystitchalong

Boho Embroidery Stitch Along Tour Schedule:

Sept 14: stitch-off with Nichole wildboho

Sept 21: stitch with Kristen @bobbypinbandit

Sept 28: stitch with Jessica @euphoria_jessica

Oct 5: stitch with Anne @lolliandgrace

Oct 12: stitch with Lee @maychappell

Oct 19: stitch with Sarah @hisarahwatson

Nov 9: stitch with Cheri @tinkerellen

Nov 16: stitch with Felie @london_and_granger

Nov 23: stitch with Tamara @tamaramakeshandmade

Nov 30: stitch with Jessica @blueskycrafter

Cricut + Simplicity + wildboho

I wish I could tell you that I love sewing something from a pattern, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to tell you that it is one of my least favorite things to do!

What I do like to do, is stray outside of the lines and not have to worry about staying within the confines of a pattern!

So….when I was given the opportunity to work with one of Simplicity’s new patterns for the Cricut Maker, I hesitated and had to work myself up to giving this a try. I already knew that the machine would do much of the work…cutting the pieces, etc, but I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge of following a pattern!

Because I have a soft spot for flowers, this Flower and Arrangement pattern caught my eye and I thought it might make a unique embellishment for a piece of hoop art. So, with reluctance (!),  I accepted the challenge.

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I’m going to walk you through this pattern, step by step, and I’ll give you a little hint about the process…it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be!

Alright, let’s start this pattern!

Step One: gather your Cricut materials and the Simplicity PDF pattern.

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You will need the fabric mat, the rotary blade for cutting fabric and the washable fabric pen for marking the pattern pieces.

Step Two: gather your fabrics.

The pattern shows you the pieces that make up the flower. You can base your color choices off of that like I did my second time through.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I forgot to print the pattern directions first and so I just randomly picked colors from my pile of fabrics when it told me to insert a new mat!

It all turned out very pretty in the end but I would not recommend that you use my method!!

So, you’ve read through the pattern (well done, you!) and you’ve chosen your fabrics. It’s time to move on to Step Three: Let the machine do the work for you!

The screen shot shows you what you will see in Design Space. From this point on, you will just be putting the correct fabrics on the mats and the machine will do everything else!

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The rotary blade and washable pen are in position and my fabric is ready to be cut!

Check this out: do you see all of those perfect little points that have been cut out? Yup, the machine did that, not me!

Step Four: continue letting the machine do the work! How easy is that?!

You will soon end up with a tidy little pile of cut pieces, just like what you see below!

One suggestion after working through this pattern a few times: when you get to the two round circle pieces, choose a heavier fabric. My first choice was a thinner batik piece of fabric. My second choice was a heavier piece of textured cotton fabric. Finally on my third time cutting the pieces for the pattern, I decided to use a scrap of  wool felt and that was definitely the best choice. The other fabric pieces worked fine, but because this is the piece that you are hand sewing everything on to, you want something fairly sturdy.

I should also warn you that Step Five involves me breaking from the pattern in one other way: I did not use my sewing machine! Nope, not once.

If you follow along with my stitching adventures, you’ll already know that I prefer hand stitching to machine sewing. I wanted to try this entire pattern without the machine, just so that I could tell you that it was possible! And it is!

Your pieces have all been cut and you are ready to turn them into flowers!

This was the only step that slightly confused me and so I wanted to show several pictures to help you out.

You will fold the sides of your rectangular piece in towards the center.

Next you will fold that piece in half.

Grab a needle and some thread (I prefer the Sulky 12wt petites for this step) and stitch a running stitch along the bottom.

Tie a knot and then pull your thread right so that the fabric gathers up nice and makes a little ruffle.

The blue marks and the pattern will show you where each piece is to be stitched on to the circle.

Continue with each piece of fabric, following the directions as to where to attach it to the disc.

Because I (unfortunately) only have two hands, I couldn’t take pictures of how I actually wrapped the rose. That step is mostly self-explanatory and if I was able to figure it out, then you will just fine!

Soon you will have a complete flower!

So, what to do with your flower at this point?

Well, you can leave it completely as is and be done! Stitch a pin back or hair clip onto it and wear it as an accessory!

Or, and you should also know that this is always my go-to option, you can put it in a hoop!

Here is my simple version of the flower and arrangement attached to a fabric that has been stretched in a hoop.

Simple and pretty!

But, why stop there? You could take it one step further and add other embellishments, like the pattern suggests.

Here is my gussied up version! I added wispy bits of lace, gears and buttons.

And because I love to show you options, (and can’t resist Boho-ing up a project!) here is what you can create if you cut a few extra pieces and arrange them to your liking!

Each piece in the above hoop has been cut by my Cricut Maker according to the pattern. I just rearranged pieces and added some embroidery!

And speaking of embroidery, do you see those words?

My absolute favorite feature of using Design Space and my Cricut Maker is that I can create text and have it written directly into fabric with the washable pen!

So many fonts! So much versatility! I cannot gush enough about this function!

Since unboxing my Maker, I have used this function more than anything else. There’s not stopping me…I can add words to anything!

And there you have it..my first Simplicity pattern and I survived and actually went on to make it several times and enjoyed the process!

Now I can breathe a sigh of relief and pass some confidence on to you. Now, go….create something!


Fabrics provided by:

Flaurie and Finch (Blossom Batiks)

Andover Fabrics (Alison Glass Mariner Cloth and Golden Hour)

Threads I used:

Sulky 12 Wt Petites

Sue Spargo Eleganza


 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Boho Stitch Along. Week 3

To catch up, you can check out each week of the Boho Stitch Along right here!


Before I show you what I’ve been working on for my Boho Stitch Along this week, I wanted to share my upcoming classes for the summer! If you’ll be on the East Coast from June-September, you just might be able to catch a Boho Embroidery class!

Here is my summer schedule:

June 16, 2018: Finch Knitting and Sewing Studio, Leesburg, VA

July 6, 2018: (Just for TEENS!), Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington, NJ

July 6, 2018: Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington NJ

August 5, 2018: Sew Inspired Quilt Shop & Studio, Simsbury, CT

August 11, 2018: Alewives Fabrics, Damariscotta, ME

September 29, 2018: The Old Country Store, Lancaster, PA


So this week, besides a mad cleaning of my studio (more on that below), I focused on the center medallion of my project.

Using a combination of straight stitches and beads, I have almost completed this medallion!

The center of the center is a small mirror that I attached with a variation of the Shisha Stitch (I cover this stitch in my upcoming book!)

For next week, I plan on finishing up the center and then moving on to the feathers above the center medallion.

I’ll also be stitching some projects for Quilt Market and so i’m not sure how much i’ll be able to tackle…maybe it’s overly ambitious to think i’ll be moving onto the feathers! We’ll just have to see what the week brings!

The thread that I love to use for beading and embroidery is from Sulky and is called Sulky Petites. It is a 12 wt thread, which is about the thickness of 2 strands of a dividable floss would be. I love the variety of colors that it comes in and I can always find a match to the beads and fabric that i’m working with!

The beads that I used on the center are size 11 seed beads and are smaller than the size 8 beads that I used on the words “Magpie Dreams” from last week. I find my beads online and my favorite shop is Fusion Beads.

The adorable bird needle minder is from Alison Glass.


I have a tiny stitching studio in my home and the size forces me to constantly stay on top of how organized my projects are! When I finished writing my second book in the Fall, I transitioned right into Quilt Con prep and then in the February, attended Quilt Con. Before I knew it, Spring had arrived and I had a lot of chaos to deal with in my studio.

This week I decided I needed to tackle my space before starting on the next big project. Today finds me feeling much more organized and with room to breathe and work in my area!

I was also super excited to set up my brand new Daylight Company Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I have great afternoon lighting in my space, but morning and evening is a different story! I’ve been working with an Ott-Lite bulb in an ordinary desk lamp from Target. I have gone through 3 different Ott-Lites, each covered by warranties, and this bulb has been temporary solution until I found a lamp that I loved and that wouldn’t die on me when I needed it most!

Enter the Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I finished the Great Studio Clean-Up of 2018 yesterday and that was when my new lamp arrived. Hello perfect timing!

By last night, I was all set up and wanted to document just how awesome the light is and how i’ve probably been killing my eyes with my previous lamp!

Here’s the before (notice the Ott-Lite bulb sticks out further than the lamp shade?!):

And just look at the after with my new Daylight Company lamp!

I can clearly see every single thread color now!

A special thanks to Sariditty and Daylight Company for this lamp and if you want a coupon to save 20% off of your lamp purchase, use SARIDITTY18 at checkout!

Where to begin? Boho Stitch Along: Week 1

I posted a picture on Instagram yesterday and received so many messages along the lines of things I’ve heard many times before, both on IG and at the workshops that I teach, basically: “I love what you do and would love to try this but I wouldn’t even know where to begin!”

So, to help those nervous, embroidery-loving enthusiasts among you, I decided I would take this hoop and show you my start to finish process. Warning: it’s probably going to be rambly and messy (welcome to the inside workings of my brain)!!! But that’s art, right?! At least it is for me and most likely will be for you too.

This is not going to be a quick finish. You’ve heard of Slow Stitching, right? This is that! If you followed along with the Boho Stitch Along last year, you’ll know that embroidering a large piece of fabric takes time. So, grab a piece of fabric that you love and have been wanting to embroider and just put it in a hoop (like I did) and go through this process with me!

I’ll share my work here weekly, along with tips and some fun ideas for adding extra bits to your project.

P.S. I hear there is an amazing embroidery book written by yours truly that can help you learn how to embroider! And if you have that one, I hear there is an equally awesome second embroidery book coming very soon, you know, if you’re interested!


Let’s get started!

First off, you will want to choose your fabric. Pick something that you like…you will be spending lots of time looking at every detail of the fabric!

I have chosen this gorgeous design by Kathy Doughty for Free Spirit Fabrics: Magpie Horizon. I love birds, feathers and this color palette, which made this an easy choice of fabric.

My cut of fabric is a fat quarter (which is a quarter yard of fabric, but cut in a square), so I began with unfolding it to decide what section of the fabric I wanted to include in my hoop. The Magpies fit perfectly into a 12″ hoop and so that was an easy decision.

Next step: threads! I have a lot of thread, so I chose 5 colors to get started. I’m not limited to only using those colors…I can add colors any time that I want, but this is a non-intimidating start to a project. Pick 5 colors that coordinate with your fabric.

These are all spools of Perle Cotton thread from Sue Spargo.

At this point, once my fabric is in the hoop and I have trimmed it (leaving about 1 inch all the way around), I prop it up while i’m working on other things and by doing that i’m getting familiar with the elements on the fabric i’ve chosen.

I did this yesterday and this morning I decided to add the words Magpie Dreams to this hoop. What are Magpies known for their love of? Shiny things! And what do I love to include in my embroidery? Shiny things! Beads, sequins, etc.

If you’ve been following along here, you’ll know that in the past I have raved about my Cricut Maker machine for cutting out words to add to embroidery. So that was my next step.

With Cricut’s Design Space app, I was able to type the words Magpie Dreams, change the font to something more swirly, and curve the words so that would fit along the bottom of the hoop. (That is a new feature and I used it for the first time today!)

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If you are new to Design Space, here are a few things i’ve learned while working with letters:

  • type the full set of words you want to use
  • choose your font
  • if you want to add a curve to the words, do it at this point
  • to make your letters connect, click “Ungroup” and it will make each letter something you can work with individually
  • play with the letters…move them around, make them bigger, smaller, etc.
  • when you like how they look, you will group them together again by clicking on the first letter and the Shift key. While still holding the Shift key, you will click on each letter in your group of words and it will then group everything you have clicked together.
  • I then attach them (the button at the bottom right side)
  • And I learned today how important the Weld button is. When you weld the letters, it groups them all together when cutting and you don’t get little bits of letters cut off.  (I may have had to do this 2 or 3 times before I realized the Weld button was going to save my project and sanity…I promised you messy, right?!)

Here’s what it looks like when I am ready to begin cutting the letters out of felt. I load up the mat with the felt pressed to it and the Maker does the rest!

So from there, I pick the words that have been cut out of the felt and I place them upside down and then spray them with the Dritz Spray Adhesive. I love this product because it lets you adhere something without using an iron and it is removable up until the point that you have stitched it to the fabric!

Also, this was an incredibly messy step. Seriously. Just picture me trying to get a photo of putting the words on the fabric while having felt bits stuck to my fingers because of the adhesive spray. (Notice there is no picture here of that step?!! There is a reason for that!)

So, I dealt with the mess and took a picture of the end result instead!

The words will stand out more once I stitch them, but i’m really liking where this project is headed!

And there you have it! By the time another week rolls around, I will have started to embroider on this piece and I will share with you what I have done.

In the meantime, if you have a piece of fabric you’ve been wanting to try this with, it’s probably time for you to pull it out and get started!


So to recap the steps for beginning your project this week:

  1. Choose your fabric and hoop size.
  2. Pick 5 matching threads.
  3. Become familiar with your fabric.
  4. Choose one area you want to begin stitching.
  5. Gather your embroidery tools: scissors, needles, etc.
  6. Pick one stitch that you want to try and just get started!

 


Note: There are affiliate links included in this post.